I’ve been all about purple sweet potatoes since I saw them in a bin at the Westgate Import Market this summer. They’re so beautiful, but I think I forgot to take a picture of them in candied form! Ah, there they are, in the purplish pink bowl. They’re not as brilliant of a purple candied as they are when you just nuke them and eat them plain, but they are so yummy! As my niece said, “I don’t like sweet potatoes, but these taste like Christmas should smell!”


  • 2 pounds of purple sweet potatoes
    (or regular, if you can’t find purple at an Asian market)
  • 1 and 1/2 cups of pecans
  • 1/2 cup of butter
  • 1/2 cup of orange juice
  • 4 tablespoons of honey
  • 2/3 cup of brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla


  1. Without peeling, cover whole sweet potatoes in water in a big pot and bring to a boil.
  2. Reduce heat and simmer for 25 minutes until sweet potatoes are softening, but still firm.
  3. Cool, peel, and cut into chunks or slices into a baking dish.
  4. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  5. In a saucepan, add all other ingredients and bring to a boil, then pour over sweet potatoes.
  6. Bake for 40 minutes.
  7. Serve in a bowl, spooning sauce over any dry sweet potatoes.


I adapted this recipe from one for regular sweet potatoes that called for maple syrup (yick!) for which I substituted orange juice and honey, and then added cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla. I haven’t done a test drive on the amounts above for several reasons:

  1. I have no idea how many pounds of purple sweet potatoes I had. There were two big ones shaped like a human heart (with swirly patterns of purple and pale purple inside) and two long skinny ones (that looked like a purple tree trunk inside).
  2. I first made it with half the sauce ingredients, then realized that I’d forgotten the pecans and that it didn’t look like much sauce, so I made more sauce with the pecans without really measuring. it might not have been quite double the original amount.

Next time I make this, I’ll measure and update if necessary. I might even put the whole bag of pecans in. Yum!

Another cool thing: the sauce takes on this lovely berry color from the sweet potatoes. They look very dark in the picture, but you can definitely still tell that they’re purple!